Editorial comment ///
I thought adding “constructive” to the title might be a little more positive. But some technologies really can be game-changers, which is why it’s odd that some of them are so poorly known.
0This month's column could be called Electricity Storage Part 2, having discussed the topic in some detail last November. Pumped water impoundment is still king in this category, with over 300 installations worldwide, and more than 40 that are in the 1000-MW range—which is equal to a good-sized nuclear power plant. They are reasonably efficient—about 70 to 80% in recapturing the electricity stored in them. However, they are fairly expensive to build, requiring large, lined tunnels and two huge reservoirs: one high and one low. But you can’t always pump water uphill if there’s no hill, or no water.
In cases where pumped water impoundment is impractical, another little game-changer is gaining ground.
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